Veggies of any kind are known to be the healthiest foods we can include in our diet. Whether it is our own diet or diet of our pets – veggies are a superfood and they have tons of health benefits. And, veggies are a crucial part of the diet of guinea pigs too! They are vegetarians, and every owner of a guinea pig always makes sure the cavy gets its daily dose of vegetarian nutrients. So, now we will discuss mustard greens, and if they are good food for our guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat mustard greens? Yes, guinea pigs can eat mustard greens. In fact, this veggie is very healthy and beneficial for guinea pigs because it offers many nutrients, one of which is vitamin C. This vitamin is very crucial for guinea pigs and their overall health. In general, leafy greens with lots of vitamin C are a must have for cavies, for example, parsley, kale, turnip greens, romaine lettuce and of course – the mustard greens belong in this group too!
The mustard greens are indeed a very healthy food for the guinea pigs. They are full of vitamin C, plus they contain less calcium than other veggies such as the kale or parsley. Of course, because they still have calcium they should be fed in moderation, but nevertheless, they are undoubtedly healthy for the guinea pig. Some owners feed their cavies with mustard greens daily, some every other day, and some just rarely each week, but we will see how to properly feed this to the guinea pigs, and we will discuss every detail for this vegetable as a food item for our guinea pigs, so please keep on reading!
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Mustard Greens
- Healthy weight – Mustard greens are low in calories and low in fat. No need to fear obesity – let your guinea pig munch on those mustard greens!
- Energy – for a veggie, mustard greens offer a good amount of carbs and proteins that give energy for the whole day ahead!
- Good digestion – This vegetable has fibers that improve the digestion and bowel movements. In a moderate amount, the benefits are great, but in excess, it can cause loose stool, so serve as advised.
- Healthy cardiovascular system – With the low amount of fat and zero cholesterol, the heart and blood vessels of the cavy will be in good health, and there will be less risk of hypertension, stroke, heart attack and all heart-related problems of this kind.
- Prevention of scurvy – Vitamin C prevents the guinea pigs from scurvy; this disease damages their coat, causes loose stool, internal bleedings, loss of appetite, and scurvy which can be often fatal. Luckily, mustard greens have loads of vitamin C!
- Antioxidants for good immunity – The vitamin A will keep the health of all internal organs, but also of the eyesight and skin. It improves the whole immunity in general.
- Less stress – The B6 vitamin will make your guinea pig less stressed, it will improve its sleep, and of course, will boost the happiness hormone called serotonin.
- Healthy blood and strong muscles – with iron the blood will be strong, and the magnesium will ensure muscle strength and health.
Nutrition Facts of Mustard Greens
These are the nutrition facts for 100 g (3 oz) of mustard greens:
- Low in calories – 26 calories. This means the mustard greens will not affect the weight of your guinea pig, so there is no risk of obesity.
- Carbs and proteins – there is 4.9 g of carbs and 2.7 g of proteins in this veggie. The proteins and carbs are the most important energy sources to ingest on a daily basis. With a good amount of carbs and proteins, the guinea pig will have energy and warmth throughout the day.
- Fibers – 3.3 g. The fibers are essential for good digestion and regular bowel emptying. Without fibers, there is indigestion or constipation, so mustard greens will improve the digestion of your cavy.
- Very low in fat – 0.2 g. With such a low amount of fat, there is less risk of obesity, the blood vessels will be unclogged, and of course, the cardiovascular system will be much healthier.
- Low in sugar – 1.6 g. This amount of sugar is not too high, but still, it needs some precaution. Guinea pigs don’t digest sugars well and their stomachs will be upset when they ingest sugar. However, 1.6 g of sugars it is not too scary, but limit this veggie to 2 times a week due to this.
- Vitamin A – 210 %. Vitamin A is the strongest and best antioxidant with many benefits for the organism. It keeps the immunity in great shape, and all organs too; kidneys, heart, eyes, skin, and lungs too.
- Vitamin C – 117 %. Vitamin C is a crucial thing for guinea pigs and without it, they can’t survive. They are prone to the disease called scurvy when they have a deficit of vitamin C. But, this amount is great news! It will keep the cavy safe against this disease.
- Vitamin E – 10%. The vitamin E keeps the skin healthy and all skin tissues safe from skin diseases. It contributes to slower aging, prevents the skin from cancer, but it also keeps the heart healthy, lessens inflammation, boosts the immunity and also makes eyesight better.
- Vitamin K – 622%. Vitamin K is very important for healthy blood clotting. In case of certain injuries, blood clotting prevents the loss of too much blood. This vitamin produces a special protein (prothrombin) that acts fast when blood clotting is vital for survival.
- Vitamin B6 – 9%. The B6 vitamin is the most important vitamin for producing serotonin, the hormone of happiness and good mood. With this, sleep is improved at night, there is less stress, anxiety is reduced and the organism is overall more relaxed.
- Calcium – 10%. Calcium is a crucial mineral for the bones and forming strong bone tissues. It helps the guinea pigs in development but once a guinea pig is fully grown, this mineral is damaging their health. It can gather in their system as excess deposits and it can cause urinary complications.
- Magnesium – 8%. A mineral that lessens muscle aches and keeps the heart muscle strong.
- Iron – 8%. A compound that prevents anemia and strengthens the blood.
- Cholesterol – zero cholesterol in mustard greens.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Mustard Greens to Guinea Pigs
- Urinary problems – Since mustard greens contain calcium, you should pay attention to the servings and frequency of servings. The safest option is to feed the cavy this veggie 1-2 times per week. A whole leaf or half a leaf is a good serving size. More than this will create bladder and kidney stones or painful urination among other urinary complications that can be fatal for the guinea pig.
Quick Facts on Mustard Greens
- Other names for this veggie are: Xiu Cai, Potherb Mustard, Japanese Mustard, Kyona, Leaf Mustard and California Peppergrass
- This veggie was included in Italian recipes dating back to the 14th century!
- It was mostly cultivated in Japan in ancient times
- The origins of this veggie date back to India, over 5,000 years ago
- The term ‘mustard greens’ comes from the specific taste just like the condiment mustard!
How do mustard greens taste like?
This veggie has a strong aroma, slightly peppery and specifically spicy (like mustard). To make the guinea pig like this more, mix it with another veggie that is neutral in taste, like lettuce for example. The guinea pig will love this veggie mix!
How to introduce this veggie to the diet of my guinea pig?
If the cavy hasn’t tried this so far, it might react strangely at first due to the spicy and strong aroma of this veggie. But, you can give a very small amount together with turnip greens, kale or romaine lettuce – to mask the spicy peppery taste.
Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your Guinea Pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
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